OT Buying a windsor chair set

OK, I'm at least man enough to admit the task of making/finishing 6 windors is out of my reach at the present time...
I'm looking to buy a nice set with some bang for the buck. I don't need super premium historically and geographically correct types, or walmart rubberwood junk either. Surfing yielded a plain jane oak set of 4 for $175 and a nicer, more accurate set of 2 for $215. I'd go the handmade route for maybe $150 each or so, but the ones I've seen are like $400-500 each. Can anyone refer me to reputable sources, price guidelines, advice, etc.
Thanks in advance! Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hi Sam,
I have far too many projects to even consider adding the construction of Windsor Chairs to the list. Yet I wanted several.
So I did a long and careful web search, and visited endless antique stores, and I found out several things:
1) There are windsor chairs and there are Windsor Chairs.
- The $150-$200 versions are, I find, cheap knockoffs and, what's more important, extremely uncomfortable (to me). They aren't built to last like properly designed WC's. And they are far far heavier.
- Real WC's have lots of splay in the legs, excess wood shaved off the seat, wedged through tennons.
2) I could not find decent windsor chairs at antique stores or flea markets.
- I could find cheap knockoffs
- I could find 200 year old chairs but I didn't want that - too expensive and I want to sit in them without worry. And have others sit in them without worry.
I found one WC in an antique store for $45.00 that was sort of acceptable. Especially at the price. it was early in my search. Several months of searching generated nothing. Now, I'm NOT a skilled, experienced flea/antique store denizen, but I don't have the time to become one and even the time I spent looking was too much.
So I broke down and ordered some chairs make by Warren Chair Works. They are a pleasure to look at, built as WC's should be built, light, and very very comfy to sit in.
And yes the "handmade route" means $350-$500 apiece. You can sometimes find them cheaper if you order them from the Midwest, I found. But once I did the research on WC's I knew that I MUST sit in the chair before I buy one.
Just my thoughts and experiences.
--
Saville

Replicas of 15th-19th century nautical navigational instruments:
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Sam,
I think you'd have a great time assembling these kits. http://www.tablelegs.com/windsor_chair.htm
My experience with these guys is they are great to work with and do nice work. I think they could sand out their stuff a little better but labor = cost = higher price.
$200 for a standard and $290 for a arm.
Try one, see how you do and then dive in. It's something I've considered doing for a long time.
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On 26 Jan 2005 09:19:46 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Do a course - you can make a set in a week.

If you just want to sit on them, get some factory stuff in one of the pines, with a laminated birch hoop back. They're perfectly acceptable as seating.
If you want more, first ask yourself what you really need. Hand turned spindles, or an automatic copy lathe ? Worked green and shrunk to fit, or glued ? Any metal fittings ?

Bristol, UK - we were selling (AFAIR) at 125 / 175 for chairs and carvers (with arms). These were ladderbacks in ash with elm bases.
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Thanks for the great feedback guys.
Hmmm... So I need a handmade one for ME to sit on during the Thanksgiving meal and 5 factory jobbies for my family and guests <g> In all reality, these are for the "formal" dining room we will use rarely, so I can't justify $3k for handmade ones. Most importantly, I need to sit in one before I buy anything.
I'm in Ohio, are there any good chair makers out in this neck of the woods making some less expensive pieces?
I was orginally worried about posting this, as I expected dozens of chair guys wanting me to buy there chairs... Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Don't laugh. that's exactly what I did. I want them to eat..and get out ;^)

that is most important.

google is your friend. "windsor chair"+ohio returned 1330 hits.

Bigger risk is that you'd be told to sharpen an axe and go make them ;^)
--
Saville

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